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Episode 1378

Writerly Insults

Sure, it’s scary to send your writing to a literary agent. But pity the poor agent who must wade through hundreds of terrible query letters a week! One of them shares excerpts from those hilariously bad query letters on a blog called SlushPile...

Episode 1410

An Ear for Wine

Creative communication in a noisy world! Writing a clever 140-character tweet isn’t easy. But you know what’s even more impressive? Working all 26 letters of the alphabet into just one sentence! The term for that type of sentence is...

No Arguing with Samuel Johnson

Oliver Goldsmith observed that there was no use arguing with lexicographer Samuel Johnson, because “when his pistol misses fire, he knocks you down with the butt end of it.” This is part of a complete episode.

Bacon-Flavored Language

It’s another A Way with Words newsletter! This past weekend’s episode was a rebroadcast, which we named “Pickles and Ice Cream.” English speakers use those two when they want to compare two things that don’t go well...

Roly-Polies

There’s another brand-new episode for you to catch up on, in which we talk about “sonker” (a kind of fruit cobbler), suss (is it British?), roly-polies (a bug which by any other name would still look like a tiny armadillo), and a big...